“A little girl finds herself in a difficult situation after giving the wrong address to the taxi driver and realizing she is in an unknown location.
“Oh my God, Matt, get up for God’s sake!” Riley Cooper yelled at her husband as she jolted awake, realizing she was late for their daughter’s school. Riley and Matt were working parents. He worked as an accountant while she worked as a senior designer at a prestigious company.
This morning didn’t really seem like a good start. The young parents had planned to drop off their eight-year-old sweetheart at school together, but they had slept through the alarm and were now late.
“Please darling, Matt,” begged her. “I’d like to sleep for a little longer.”
“Please get your lazy ass up, Matt. You’ll have to take her yourself because I haven’t started packing her lunch, and my God, I have to wake her up as well. We have to get ready for work too, Matt.”
“Ugh, I need to fix a bus for Carol soon. Things won’t work this way,” Riley dashed over to Carol’s room and saw her playing with her dolls. “Honey, we have to get ready for school. You can play with them later,” she said as she picked her daughter up and handed her the toothbrush.
“But mommy, right now!” Honey, you don’t want to be late for school, do you?” Riley was in such a frenzy that she didn’t even wait for Carol’s response before running over to the kitchen to start breakfast. As she finished packing Carol’s lunch and fed her breakfast, she went to wake up Matt again.
“Matt, get up! You’re late for work.”
“I’ll just send Carol to school in a taxi today since I have an urgent meeting.”
“I’m awake. What time is it?” Matt inquired, attempting to wake from his slumber and reaching for his phone to check the time. “Holy Jesus, why didn’t you wake me up, Riley?” He panicked looking at the time.
“Good morning,” she sneered. “Now get ready to go to work because I’m leaving. I’ve left the spare keys on the dining table. Bye, Carol. Where is she?”
“I called a taxi for her. She’s leaving in a few minutes. You coming?”
“Yeah, just a sec.” With that, the parents sent their daughter off to school via taxi and told her the address clearly.
“Carol, your school is directly next to Breston Street, okay? You take the first turn from there and then 10 steps, clear? Mount Valley School,” Riley reminded her, though the taxi driver already had the location fed into his Google Maps.
“Please look after her and take her straight to the location. I’m a little late for work today,” she briefed the taxi driver, Peter.
“Peter,” a bulky man in his 50s assured her, “that everything would be fine. Don’t worry, ma’am. It’s my job. You can rest assured. Thank you so much,” Riley told him and turned to Carol.
“Honey, you go straight to school and no troubling him, okay?”
“Okay, mommy,” Carol said as she waved goodbye to her parents. Unfortunately, a few minutes into their ride, Peter’s phone died, and that’s when the mishap happened. He had to ask Carol for the address, and she gave him the wrong one.
“Um, are you sure, girl? That’s the address. This tiny man’s kind of forgetful, and my phone ain’t working, so I can’t confirm the location,” Peter remarked, sensing something was off. But Carol replied, “Yes, I got the address from my mommy.”
As a result, Peter dropped her off at the address she provided. She took the first direction Riley had directed her to take and continued walking for several minutes, only to find herself in a huge open area surrounded by desiccated plants and with no buildings in sight.
The little girl didn’t give up and tried to find a way multiple times, but it was all for naught. She continued walking and walking, only to find she was lost in an unknown location. As the day progressed, Carol began to cry because she couldn’t find a way out.
“Mommy, where is the school?” she was sobbing uncontrollably when she noticed a silhouette in the shadows in an alley.
“Hello, can you help me?” she whispered shakily as she followed the shadow, but when she saw the figure, she became terrified. In the dimly lit alley, it appeared to her like a giant monster, but it was actually a frail, slender woman with doves on her shoulders, making her seem enormous.
“What are you doing here by yourself, little girl?” the old woman asked worriedly, turning around. Carol exhaled a sigh of relief when she saw her face as she turned around. It was just an old lady.
“I… I’m lost,” Carol said, sobbing.
“Oh dear, can you tell me your name and where you live?”
“My name is Carol. We live in a neighborhood with Dunkin’ Donuts,” she continued to sob.
“Don’t worry, Carol. Calm down. I can help you. My name is Mrs. Louie. I live nearby. Okay, come with me,” the older woman consoled her and took her to her basement where she usually slept and gave her a warm blanket. However, it was still cold there.
“Do you at least recall your parents’ contact information, Carol? We can contact them. There’s a small shop nearby, and the owner there has a phone,” Mrs. Louie explained.
“Having calmed down, Carol remembered her mother had given her a note with their address and contact number. ‘I remember, mommy’s contact,’ Carol replied as she pulled a note from her bag. ‘Here.’”
“Oh, wonderful. This has your address, Carol. Come, let’s call her and let her know you’re safe.” Meanwhile, Riley and Matt were concerned when their daughter did not return home from school. They called the class teacher and learned Carol didn’t show up in school.
“Where did he take my daughter?” Riley burst out crying, and then it hit her. “One second, I noted his car’s plate number and his name. I have it,” she said, rummaging through her purse to find the note where she’d written it down. Suddenly, her phone rang.
“Matt and Riley panicked when an unknown number flashed across the phone screen, but on the other end of the line was their daughter Carol, whose voice brought them great relief.
“Matt, it’s Carol!” cried Riley. “Honey, where are you? Daddy and I are very worried.”
“Mommy, when will you and Daddy come? I’m in a basement. It’s cold and dirty here,” and then the call got disconnected.
“Riley tried calling Carol again, but it said the phone was switched off. Riley almost fainted. ‘Sobbing mad, our daughter, she’s in danger.’”
“Don’t worry, Riley. We can track the phone. Just a minute,” Matt said, formulating a plan. He called 911, and with the help of the cops, they tracked the location. They were all in shock when it showed a remote area completely opposite the direction of Carol’s school.
Carol cried as the line was cut abruptly. “I couldn’t tell Mommy where I was. What do I do now?”
“Don’t worry, Carol. There’s an animal shelter nearby, okay? Frank, the owner, will have a phone. We will call 911 first and let them know about you and your address, okay?”
“But the place is a little far,” Mrs. Louie suggested.
“No problem, Mrs. Louie. We can walk till there,” Carol replied, and they left the shop to proceed to the animal shelter. But just a few minutes after their departure, several police cars converged around them at once, having identified Carol.
“Leave that little girl alone, whoever you are! If you hurt her, you’ll be in big trouble,” one of the officers warned. Mrs. Louie over the microphone as Riley and Matt exited one of the cars. Carol ran up to her parents and hugged them.
“Mommy and Daddy, thank you. You came.”
“Didn’t she hurt you, honey?” Riley inquired, concerned, as he observed Mrs. Louie’s scruffy appearance.
“You can tell us if she bothered you.”
“No way, mommy. Mrs. Louie is very nice. She helped me by calling you when I was crying, and also provided me with a nice blanket because it was cold. Mrs. Louie is caring just like you.”
“Riley and Matt exchanged a short glance, both feeling awful for having doubted the older woman. ‘I apologize for completely misunderstanding you, ma’am. Thank you for helping our daughter. She could have been in danger if it weren’t for you,’ Riley said as he approached her.”
“‘It’s fine, young lady,’ Mrs. Louie said, a tiny smile on her face. ‘I’ll leave now. Take care.’”
“Returned home with her parents, but neither Matt nor Riley could get Mrs. Louie out of her mind. They believed they could help her out of poverty in exchange for their gratitude for rescuing their child. So, they assisted her in finding a home in their neighborhood. They also helped her start a business selling cream pies for a living.”
“‘You won’t believe it, but everyone in Mrs. Louie’s neighborhood adored her pies. Carol too visits her shop every day after school to eat her pies. ‘You make the best pies, Mrs. Louie,’ she exclaims, gobbling them down. And the older lady couldn’t help but smile at her sweet comment.”